Plans being put in motion for Easter Rising centenary

A community engagement workshop to discuss plans for the Easter Rising centenary celebrations will take place at the Galway City Museum this Thursday evening (June 4 ). A steering committee has been appointed by Galway City Council to oversee the celebrations in the city next year. This committee will engage with local communities and arts organisations to devise a programme to commemorate the Rising.

Festivities taking place in the city will tie in with national celebrations. It has been revealed that Galway will be involved in a simultaneously synchronised event at 1.15pm on Easter Monday - this is the time the first shot of the Rising was discharged. This synchronised event will also take place in Dublin, Cork and in Ashbourne, County Meath.

A number of discussions are ongoing at the moment as to the exact location of the Galway event. It may take place in the city or in Athenry. Athenry was a centre of activity in the struggle for independence and was one of the few areas outside Dublin to rise up in Easter 1916. Speaking at a recent city council meeting, Councillor Padraig Conneelly voiced his opposition to the event happening in Athenry. “I would be very disappointed if it leaves the city. Local representatives in Athenry, including my party colleague Peter Feeney are actively pushing for this.”

Sinn Féin councillor Anna Marley noted that the centenary was a very important milestone. “If it is marked properly, it has the potential to have a lasting and significant effect. Never were such republican ideals as relevant as they are today due to the ongoing austerity measures.”

Funding of €30,000 has been allocated to Galway to cover the cost of the centenary celebrations. The remaining cost of the festivities will be absorbed by the city council. Representatives from the council will be engaging with Galway’s sister cities and twin towns to look at a way at getting them involved in the 2016 events. The Shannon Rovers Pipe Band of Chicago has already made contact to offer to travel to participate in events in Galway next year

Arts, culture and communications executive officer, Gary McMahon also noted that if anybody in the city or county has a relative who was involved in the Rising, the council would be anxious to make contact with them. A final programme of events are to be agreed by October in time for consideration in the 2016 draft budget. Mr McMahon noted, “this plan is very much a work-in-progress, we are only starting with all this.”

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